Get to Know Your Pokemon Starter


A Comprehensive Guide to Help You Choose Your New Best Friend

With news of Pokemon Sword and Shield coming to the Switch in Fall 2019, I succumbed to such sudden nostalgia for the previous games. More specifically, I saw the new starters and absolutely lost it. So, for old times’ sake—and to take a break from the Nuzlocke Challenge currently decimating my team—I’d like to present this handy guide to help you Get to Know Your Starter. Throughout the list, I do refer to most of the Pokemon as boys because I like to think of whoever’s on my team as my beautiful monster sons and I can’t kick the habit. 

Generation I – O.G. Crew

Pokemon starters
Generation I – Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle |  © Nintendo, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company

• Bulbasaur – Type: Grass/Poison | Species: Seed

Bulbasaur is a good boy who’s always down to help, but with a little bit of a snappy attitude I like to think comes from his poison side. He’ll definitely help you move into your new place, but he absolutely won’t carry a couch for free. 

• Charmander – Type: Fire | Species: Lizard

Charmander, by nature of his tail flame providing his singular life-force, is an anxious mess 98% of the time. Sure, the official Wiki says he’s “mild-mannered and well-behaved,” but if you were “known to die” when your tail flame goes out, wouldn’t you be at least a little worried about it?

• Squirtle – Type: Water | Species: Tiny Turtle

Squirtle is the resident Cool Guy, but of course, we knew that already. 

Generation II – Bless the Rains (Because Totodile)

Pokemon starters
Generation II – Chikorita, Cyndaquil, Totodile | © Nintendo, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company

• Chikorita – Type: Grass | Species: Leaf

Chikorita is the type of friend who will visit you and bring you soup when you’re stuck at home recovering from wisdom tooth surgery. She won’t say anything about your blood drool; just hand you a paper towel while you watch Bend It Like Beckham together. 

• Cyndaquil – Type: Fire | Species: Fire Mouse

At the party, Cyndaquil is the mom friend who makes sure everyone drinks water and doesn’t drown in the pool. When she comes out of her shell, she likes to troll everyone by claiming Knuckles the Echidna is her cousin and everyone always believes her. 

• Totodile – Type: Water | Species: Big Jaw

Totodile, the madman, just wants to chomp. He has simple needs, and he fulfills them. 

Generation III – So I Herd U Liek Mudkipz

Pokemon starters
Generation III – Treeko, Torchic, Mudkip | © Nintendo, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company

• Treeko – Type: Grass | Species: Wood Gecko

I see Treeko and I want to kick him out of my house; I get the feeling he’d eat all my snacks. He gives off a hungry boy vibe, like he can put away 20 McNuggets and then make a quesadilla as soon as he gets home. Also, he keeps trying to sell me insurance and I’m getting sick of it. 

• Torchic – Type: Fire | Species: Chick

Torchic is a loyal beast, but, just like a real chicken, she’s got a fireball just simmering in her belly guts. Warm and cozy on the outside, 1800 degrees on the inside. Just like a real chicken. 

• Mudkip – Type: Water | Species: Mud Fish

So far, the water types have been simple creatures, usually possessing one singular drive and the motivation to fulfill it. Similarly, Mudkip just wants to dig around in swamp mud and be a genuine dirty boy. 

Generation IV – Forgettable Crew

Pokemon starters
Generation IV – Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup | © Nintendo, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company

• Turtwig – Type: Grass | Species: Tiny Leaf

I don’t have much to say about Turtwig. He’s an odd sort of man; a lot like a dog, except apparently he’s a tiny leaf. Overly affectionate, at times bashful and outgoing, and occasionally will bite your head out of love. Also, he looks kind of weird but you still want to give him a forever home. 

• Chimchar – Type: Fire | Species: Chimp

Chimchar is just a little monkey boy, curious and mischevious, getting into trouble at every turn. I feel like he’d get along well with Torchic, as they could bond over the burning gas balls they keep in their gully works.

• Piplup – Type: Water | Species: Penguin

Piplup, in comparison with previous water types, is not a simple man with simple needs. This literal penguin possesses the same amount of pride and self-esteem as a wealthy teen whose parents just bought his way into an Ivy League college. Hubris will be Piplup’s downfall. 

Generation V – One of Them Is an Otter

Pokemon starters
Generation V – Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott | © Nintendo, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company

• Snivy – Type: Grass | Species: Grass Snake

Snivy is just Gex from the video game Gex. Apparently, he’s calm and intelligent, but also he eats the sun so I don’t know how smart he really is. 

• Tepig – Type: Fire | Species: Fire Pig

Tepig has a sophisticated palate, choosing to roast her berries with nose-fire before consuming. 

• Oshawott – Type: Water | Species: Sea Otter

Oshawott remains a mystery; he looks like a cute and cuddly ocean scamp, but beneath that Scalchop is raging, burning aggression that no water type move can extinguish. 

Generation VI – I’ve Got a Froakie in my Nuzlocke Run and His Name is Ernie

Pokemon starters
Generation VI – Chespin, Fennekin, Froakie | © Nintendo, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company

• Chespin – Type: Grass | Species: Spiny Nut

My boy Chespin is a little troublemaker; every time I have a Chespin on my team, he leaves a spiny nut on my bicycle seat so I stab myself in the butt and all he does is laugh at my expense. He’s too cute to trade, so I endure. 

• Fennekin – Type: Fire | Species: Fox

Like Oshawott, behind that fluffy exterior Fennekin hides a fury unmatched in the Kalos region. She has trouble keeping her emotions in check, but she can spew flames from her ears so don’t you dare suggest it’s just hormones. 

• Froakie – Type: Water | Species: Bubble Frog

Froakie is a master of deception; appearing absent-minded at first glance, he is, in reality, scanning the Starbucks for every available exit and making sure he doesn’t sit with his back to a door. A truly paranoid Millennial icon. 

Generation VII – My House is Full of Cats

Pokemon starters
Generation VII – Rowlet, Litten, Popplio | © Nintendo, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company

• Rowlet – Type: Grass/Flying | Species: Grass Quill

Look into Rowlet’s dead, black eyes like a doll’s eyes, and he’ll reveal your credit score like a Magic 8 Ball; it will always be bad no matter what you do. Rowlet is, without a doubt, the Terror of the Skies™, despite evolving into Emo Teen Bird™. 

• Litten – Type: Fire | Species: Fire Cat

Just like a real cat, Litten has no emotions! She feels nothing, just like a real cat! Like real life cats, get it! Because cats in real life can’t possibly feel love by nature of being cats! Also, this bitch is oily. Just like a real cat!

• Popplio – Type: Water | Species: Sea Lion

Popplio blows snot bubbles 24/7 and we all just trying to ignore that. 

Generation VIII – GROOKEY

Pokemon starters
Generation VIII – Grookey, Scorbunny, Sobble | © Nintendo, GameFreak, The Pokemon Company

• Grookey – Type: Grass | Species: Chimp

I love Grookey! What a good lad! His name means Groovy Monkey! I like to imagine he has a high little voice to go along with his sweet little wave!

• Scorbunny – Type: Fire | Species: Rabbit

Scorbunny has Hot Feet™! Watch out for this guy, he’s comin’ through! He’s an Eastern European footballer!

• Sobble – Type: Water | Species: Water Lizard

Sobble looks like the Suprised Pikachu meme! 

Will Sword and Shield Be the Very Best?

We don’t know much about the new starters, except that they look like the Powerpuff Girls. But I know that I love them already no matter what anyone says. What’s your opinion on the new boys? What do you hope to see in Pokemon Shield and Sword? Who’s your go-to BFF? Let us know!

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About the author

Lauren Boisvert

Lauren Boisvert is a writer and pisces from Florida. She has had poems published with Memoir Mixtapes, spy kids review, The Mochila Review, and others. She loves Mystery Science Theater 3000, classic horror, and making everyone in the car listen to the Beastie Boys.

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